Xeno-Nucleic Acids and the World of XNA

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Ekmekci A.

GAZI MEDICAL JOURNAL, vol.27, no.3, pp.178-180, 2016 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.12996/gmj.2016.56
  • Title of Journal : GAZI MEDICAL JOURNAL
  • Page Numbers: pp.178-180


Today, new organisms and biological systems have been formed to meet human needs. Synthetic biology creates and redesigns nonexistent organisms in nature to make biological components and biological systems or to perform new functions in existing organisms. Synthetic biology which is an engineering of biology is also defined as in vitro genetics. Synthetic genomics covers the technological studies containing chemical synthesis of a portion of the genome or complete genome. In central dogma known as universal flow of genetic information, our cells use DNA, a natural nucleic acid, to make functional RNA and protein constructs. Xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs) are new nucleic acid derivatives and discovered chemically by Herdewijn and Marlier. XNAs are synthetic genetic polymers with unnatural nucleic acid backbone. New building blocks have been added to the four main building blocks (GATC) which constitutes natural genomes and replicates, in the extended artificial genetic information systems in 1990, started by chemists. The number of base pairs have been increased more than three. DNA libraries consisting of GACTs that store earlier genetic data have been enriched with GACTZP nucleotides which can at least pair within the DNA in form of Z: P. Redesigned chromatins by arranging of the genetic code (genome editing) and arranging of the histone code (epigenome editing) have produced surprising results and opened new horizons for the solution of many problems in medicine, biotechnology and basic biological researchs.